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U.S. Opts Out Of G7 Pledge Committing To Paris Climate Accord

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, looks on during a meeting at the G7 environment summit in Bologna, Italy, on June 11.

The United States has refused to sign onto a Group of Seven (G7) pledge that calls the Paris climate accord the "irreversible" global tool to address climate change.

The G7 environment ministers issued a final statement on June 12 after their two-day meeting, the first since the United States announced it was withdrawing from the Paris climate pact.

In a footnote to the statement, Washington said it wouldn't join with the other six countries in reaffirming their Paris commitments, but pledged to take action on its own to reduce its carbon footprint.

"The United States will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities, preserving both a strong economy and a healthy environment," the footnote said.

The other ministers, who met in the Italian town of Bologna, reaffirmed their "strong commitment to the rapid and effective implementation of the Paris agreement," and defined the accord as "irreversible."

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, had attended the first few hours of the summit on June 11, but left to attend a cabinet meeting in Washington.

President Donald Trump earlier this month said the United States was withdrawing from the Paris agreement.

He has said Washington could reenter the deal under more favorable terms, but Italy, France, and Germany have said the Paris accord cannot be renegotiated.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa